VOLVO RYA YOUTH WORLD TRIALS, Falmouth, 20-23 October 2000

Restrongeut Sailing Club in Falmouth was host to 180 youth windsurfers and

sailors competing for the 8 places available in the British Youth Sailing Team

to represent Great Britain at the Volvo ISAF Youth World Championships, to be

held in Sydney, 28 December 2000 - 6 January 2001.

This was the first time the windsurfers had been selected on a one off trials

basis, normally the selection for the Youth Worlds, or often referred to as

the Youth Olympics, would form part of the national circuit. So it was all to

play for, the hopefuls would have to show they could perform on centre stage

with the pressure of a one off event - just as it would be in Sydney.

The twelve boys and three girls competing for their place in the team all raced

together on the IMCO board, in what turned out to be much varied conditions.

Day one bought light and fickle winds, with only two races being completed.

There was nothing to choose between pre-regatta favourites Ian Jamieson and

Hugh Sims-Williams, both finishing the day with a 1st and 3rd place. Oli Woodcock

and Toby Monk were tied for third place two points behind the leaders both scoring

a 2nd and 4th place on the opening day of the four day trials.

Bryony Shaw took a well deserved 5th place in race one. By the end of the day

only four points separated the three girls, Bryony leading followed closely

by Jessica Ash and Catherine Potter.

Day two was spent frustratingly ashore waiting for the wind to materialize,

but never came.

With two days left the organizers and selectors were now hoping for a rapid

change in conditions, the wind came 12-18 knots with gusts of over 20 knots

throwing a short chop up in the River. These were the conditions, as double

Olympic Silver Medallist and Selector Ian Walker explained, the team were most

likely to experience in Sydney Harbour during the Volvo ISAF World Championships

in December.

It was Oli Woodcock and Catherine Potter who seemed to revel in the stronger

breeze. Still shifting and gusty these were difficult conditions, but ones Oli

Woodcock described as 'Good, tough conditions which I enjoy and sail well in.'

His scoreline for the day was three 1st and one 3rd place pulling him up to

first overall on equal points with Ian Jamieson, who was showing his consistency

across the conditions. Toby Monk now five points adrift in third place overall.

Catherine Potter, the youngest competitor in the IMCO fleet at just 16 coped

physically very well with the stronger breeze giving herself a 7 point cushion

over Bryony Shaw going into the last day.

The stronger winds continued and the race committee were able to run three

races on the final day making the trials a 9 race, 2 discard series.

Ian Jamieson didn't get the start he wanted in race one with a DNF, Woodcock

scored a 3rd putting the pressure on Jamieson to perform in the last two races.

With confidence high Woodcock went onto win the penultimate race, taking the

event and his place in the British Youth Team with one race to spare. He was

the first to admit how close the competition had been between him and Jamieson,

'It was tough and very close, they were hard racing conditions with lots of

wind shifts just like in Sydney. I'm really glad all my training paid off and

now I'm going to train even harder for the next couple of months in the lead

up to Sydney'.

As RYA National Windsurfing Coach Barrie Edgington and selector at this event

explained 'Oli has trained really hard coming into this event and has benefited

from a 25% fitness improvement in five months. This has had a huge bearing on

his performance and especially in the windier conditions'.

Catherine Potter who sails from land locked Notts County Sailing Club, also

booked her place in Sydney with one race to spare, finishing 7th overall in

the mixed fleet and six points ahead of nearest rival Bryony Shaw. On the event

Catherine said, ' I came into this event as an outsider. The conditions were

good for me and I had quite consistent results.' She now intends to spend as

much time on the water and in the gym as possible in the two months leading

up to the event.

Only 16, but Catherine is already used to the pressure of top International

events. Last year she won a Silver Medal at the Junior Windsurfing World Championships

in France, on the Aloha. Windsurfing success seems to run in the family with

younger brother Richard also medalling in the under 15 category.

Barrie Edgington was pleased with the performances, 'both showed they'd made

big improvements this year and can handle the pressure. We have a stronger team

overall in sailing and windsurfing than we've seen for a few years. With more

comprehensive coaching support from RYA National Youth Coach, Dave Thompson

and Nick Dempsey, coupled with drawing from the experiences of the hugely successful

Olympic Team, we have the potential to do very well.'

Lets hope they can.

Overall Results

IMCO Windsurfers, Boys, 15, entries, 9 races, 2 discards

1. Oli Woodcock (Ashton-under-Hill, Worcs) 4, 2, 1, 1, 3, 1, 3, 1, 2 (11)

2. Ian Jamieson (Bridgwater, Somerset) 3, 1, 2, 2, 1, 2, 16, 3, 3, (14)

3. Toby Monk, 2, 4, 3, 3, 2, 3, 2, 2, 1 (15)

4. Hugh Sims-Williams (Bristol) 1, 3, 16, 5, 4, 6, 4, 8, 4 (27)

5. Daniel Ince, 7, 6, 4, 8, 7, 7, 1, 4, 11 (36)

IMCO Windsurfers, Girls

1. Catherine Potter (Nottingham), 12, 8, 7, 7, 9, 9, 6, 6, 5 (48)

2. Bryony Shaw, 5, 10, 10, 14, 12, 10, 5, 7, 7 (54)

3. Jessica Ash, 9, 9, 9, 13, 13, 12, 12, 11, 16 (75)